SOURCE: Akustica

April 05, 2007 13:56 ET

Akustica's Digital Microphone Wins Innovation Award From EDN Magazine

'Best New Mixed-signal ASSP' Improves Voice Input Quality for Portable Computers

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 5, 2007 -- Akustica announced today that its digital microphone -- the AKU2000 -- won the EDN Magazine Innovation Award in the "Mixed-signal Application Specific Standard Part" category. The award was presented to Akustica during the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley, the largest electronic-systems design event in North America.

The EDN Innovation Awards are in their 17th year and recognize unique, state-of-the-art electronic products that have been introduced in the semiconductor industry within the last 12 months. EDN chose the AKU2000, a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) microphone, because it ingeniously "employs the metal dielectric layers of conventional CMOS processes" rather than requiring the thin-film semiconductor techniques of traditional MEMS devices.

"It's become increasingly clear that digital media devices for consumers are driving the tech industry," said Maury Wright, editorial director for EDN Worldwide. "The Innovation Award winners in our 17th annual program reflect that trend with products that enable an incredibly compelling consumer experience. I congratulate all of the winners on the great work they did in 2006."

Akustica's digital microphone offers far-reaching benefits to PC and other consumer electronics manufacturers who typically are looking for fast time-to-market, a simple manufacturing process, and the smallest components for resource-constrained devices. At less than 4mm x 4mm, the Akustica microphone occupies only a tiny footprint on a portable device. And because CMOS MEMS microphones can be manufactured in any CMOS foundry, Akustica can quickly increase production to support the high volumes of the consumer electronics industry in a cost-effective way.

In addition to lauding the AKU2000's CMOS MEMS fabrication process, EDN also pointed out that the digital output of the AKU2000 is immune to interference from nearby electromagnetic (EM) and radio frequency (RF) sources.(1) This means that the microphones can easily be placed in the locations that lead to the highest voice input quality.

"With the launch of the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system and its focus on real-time communications, VoIP phone calls and video conferencing are becoming a more viable option for users of notebook computers. Consumers have been waiting for the freedom of an untethered, high-quality, integrated audio solution, but have been hindered by poor microphone quality," said Ken Gabriel, Akustica's cofounder and chief technologist. "The AKU2000 solves the microphone problem, enabling a dramatically improved user experience with voice on the notebook platform."

Gabriel, who has been called the "chief architect of the MEMS industry," was also a finalist for EDN's Innovator of the Year award.

About Akustica

Founded in 2001, Akustica, Inc. is a privately held company based in Pittsburgh, PA. Manufactured using their revolutionary CMOS MEMS technology, Akustica's Sensory Silicon™ products enable electronic devices to sense and respond to the world around them. By leveraging standard CMOS processes and MEMS technology, Akustica's acoustic system-on-chip solutions combine the functionality of transducers with microelectronics and software onto a single chip. Only Akustica's CMOS MEMS microphones -- pioneered by Akustica chief technologist and co-founder Ken Gabriel, Ph.D., during his tenure at Carnegie Mellon University -- enable single-chip solutions with arrays of transducers and integrated signal processing that disrupt both conventional microphone and speaker technologies. Smaller and more reliable than electret condenser microphones, Akustica's silicon microphones can be customized with advanced sound-capture features and noise-reduction capabilities. Akustica digital output microphones are now reaching the market in commercial volumes, helping to fulfill demand for improved voice input in a host of voice-enabled applications, from Internet telephony on notebooks to PC camera modules and mobile phones.

More information about Akustica can be obtained via Phone: (412) 390-1730, Fax (412) 390-1737, Email: or Web:

Akustica and the Akustica logo are registered trademarks and Sensory Silicon is a trademark of Akustica, Inc. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

(1) "EDN announces 17th Annual Innovation Awards winners," EDN Magazine, 4/2/07, by staff.

Contact Information

  • PRESS CONTACTS (For Editors Only):

    Marcie Weinstein
    Phone: 412/390-1730
    Email: Email Contact

    Maria Vetrano
    Phone: 617/876-2770
    Email: Email Contact